Stay tuned folks: Watching television is about to get more expensive — again.

Cable and satellite bills are set to rise this fall as those TV service providers begin collecting a mandatory new fee to subsidize local television stations in small markets across Canada.

Cable giant Rogers Communications Inc. is sending a strongly worded letter to customers warning them to expect a new charge worth 1.5 per cent of their recurring TV monthly service fee starting in September. The cost relates to the Local Programming Improvement Fund, created by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to subsidize stations in markets of less than one million people.

Rogers will dub it the “CRTC LPIF fee” on its invoices. That not-so-subtle tactic comes as the industry prepares for upcoming CRTC hearings on the contentious fee-for-carriage issue, which could further inflate bills by about $6.50 a month in Toronto.

“The message is: You should be vigilant, consumers, about how much governments are imposing on you,” Rogers’ vice-chair Phil Lind said yesterday.

The new fee marks the second fee hike for Rogers’ customers in 2009. In March, Rogers raised prices on several cable packages.

Loading...
Latest From ...